This week’s guest on CIPE’s Democracy that Delivers podcast is Karim Shaaban, CIPE’s program director in Jordan. In this podcast, Shaaban discusses the positive effects that CIPE and the USAID Jordan Local Enterprise Support (LENS) Project have had on economic growth in local communities in Jordan.
LENS was created to support the growth of micro and small enterprises, particularly those led by women. Three associations involved in LENS focus primarily on empowering working women and women entrepreneurs.
LENS and CIPE have also worked to bolster Jordan’s tourism sector. Despite the country’s appeal as a hiking and rock climbing destination for international tourists, the tourism industry has historically lacked structure. CIPE partnered with the Jordan Mountaineering Association, which is composed of tour guides and tourism operators, to help the association plan and organize its first board of directors’ election.
In addition, Shaaban credits CIPE with providing local businesses with training and technical assistance. He says that with CIPE’s support, seven business associations were able to increase their revenue and diversify their revenue streams.